Are you looking for the most common immigration questions for tourists?
Travelling internationally for the first time is hard, especially since news of Filipino tourists getting offloaded has become viral.
It’s scary and nerve-wracking, that’s why Mirai and I decided to help newbies out there with our immigration guide today. Here’s what we’re going to talk about today:
First Time Travel Story
My First Time as a Solo Female Traveler
I traveled to Japan as a female solo traveler back when I was 22 years old.
It was my first time travelling internationally. All by myself. And I was still so young. At that time, there were no immigration guides at all.
In fact, I had no clue that I’ll be asked at immigration. I honestly thought that since my Japanese visa’s already approved, then there’s no way I would be offboarded, right?
When it was my turn, the immigration officer took my passport, looked at me from top to bottom (I was wearing an anime-like skirt + tank tops + a chunky necklace 😀 ) and asked this immigration question in Filipino:
May kasama ka ba?
I confidently looked him straight in the eye and said “Wala”. He then stamped my passport, I retrieved it and went to my boarding gate. It was a smooth process.
Our First Time Traveling Together
When Mirai and I traveled for the first time as a couple back in 2016, I was nervous for her because it’s her first time traveling internationally and her passport didn’t have any stamps yet.
Because of this, we went to the immigration officer together even though we’re not related lol. The immigration officer looked at us and asked this immigration question in Filipino:
Again, I confidently looked at him and said “Travel companions, close friend since college”.
What’s funny, though, is that the officer recognized me for something I did for work back then. He smiled and said, “Are you Jiyuu? My wife was just talking to me about you…” and so we easily finished our session with the immigration and happily went to our boarding gate. Talk about the power of manifesting!
5 Common Immigration Questions for Tourists
6 years of travelling together (but assessed individually, since we’re queer), 83 passport stamps and ZERO offload experiences later, we have collected some of the common immigration questions for tourists to help you travel smoothly.
Let’s start with the frequently asked question.
1. What’s the purpose of your travel?
To answer this immigration question, it’s best to be confident and honest. Since you’re just travelling for vacation, simply answer with “tour”, “leisure” or “vacation”.
Other immigration questions related to this topic:
- What are you going to do there in (country)?
You may be asked a follow-up question, such as what you’re going to do in your country of destination.
To answer this one, it’s better if you have a general idea of the best things to do for tourists in your target country. For example, here are the best activities to do in Singapore for tourists.
2. How long will you be staying abroad?
Answer this in a straightforward manner: “XX days”. Just say how many days you’re travelling, and don’t say anything more, unless you’re asked with a follow-up question.
Other immigration questions related to this topic:
- You’ll come back on (date), right?
On our recent international trip last May 2022, the immigration officer asked me this and intentionally said the wrong date. My plane ticket clearly says we’ll be back on June 3, but he said:
“You’ll come back on June 4, right?”
I looked at him again and simply said, “No, June 3”. Short, straight to the point and factual.
3. What’s your job?
I usually answer this with the position stated in my Certificate of Employment so it sounds more official.
When you’re asked this question, take note that you do NOT need to give them your COE, okay? Just give it to them when they ask you — but if they don’t, then you don’t need to.
On the other hand, my partner Mirai isn’t formally employed since she’s a Grab operator, so that’s what she states whenever she’s asked this question. Sometimes, they’ll ask for her ID card, and sometimes they don’t.
4. Where will you stay?
If you’re staying at a hostel or hotel, make sure to have it memorized so you can state its name whenever you’re asked about where you’re staying.
Honestly, if you’re staying at a relative abroad but you’ll still be a full-fledged tourist, you can book a hotel room and declare this instead. Keep in mind never to overstay and still travel honestly as a tourist.
5. Do you have any relatives there?
From all our travels, we really didn’t have any relatives in the countries we visited so we always answer with “No”.
Final Thoughts on Immigration Questions for Tourists
And so, there you have it! Hopefully, these common immigration questions for tourists can help you become more prepared for your upcoming travels so you won’t get offboarded.
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